£10m spent on fixing East Lancs roads – but still thousands of complaints made
More than £10m have been spent by councils across East Lancashire on road maintenance over the past 12 months – as new figures reveal authorities in England receive a complaint about fixing a pothole every 46 seconds.
Blackburn with Darwen Council alone received more than 1,000 complaints from motorists over the state of the borough’s roads in 2018/19, with the authority spending £2.5m on fixes.
Forty-six claims were filed by motorists to the council over that period, though only £2,500 was paid out in compensation for vehicle damage.
Councillor Phil Riley, the borough’s executive member for growth and development, said the figures show the council’s ongoing commitment to addressing issues with the roads.
He said: “We understand the frustration that road users experience when there are potholes and we do all we can within our means to ensure these issues are rectified as quickly as possible.
“We have a rigorous process in place to deal with any complaints about road surfaces – to make sure that, where possible, we fix damaged roads that have been pointed out to us.”
Lancashire County Council spent over £8million on repairing Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale and the Ribble Valley’s roads over the same period.
Outside of Blackburn, the place in East Lancashire that had the most amount of money spent on roads was the Ribble Valley, with Lancashire County Council spending £1.9m on repairs. More than 1,300 complaints were made about the state of the area’s roads, with Moor Lane in Clitheroe the most frequently mentioned.
In Burnley, Bacup Road is widely regarded as the road that is in the poorest state but, as a whole, 595 people complained about potholes in the area – with only nine people filing claims.
In Hyndburn £1.4million was spent, with 601 complaints made about the roads.
In Rossendale the figure is £1.8million, with 758 complaints made. Rochdale Road is considered the worst for potholes in the area.
Albert Street in Colne is the most complained about carriageway in Pendle, where the council has spent £1.6million over the last year with 1,394 complaints made.
County Council leader Geoff Driver said the roads budget had been increased by £20m since 2017.
He said: “We have to look at the issues at any one time and see where the money is best spent – and the grant [which has been partially reallocated] wasn’t given to us solely for use on potholes.
“While I fully accept that there are still potholes in various parts of the county, it is clear that we are making significant progress – I can see that purely on the basis of the reduction in the number of emails I receive on the subject from the public.”